Posts Tagged ‘houseplant’

The Benefits of Indoor Plants

It’s National Indoor Plant Week – which is the perfect excuse to green up your living and work spaces. Indoor plants or house plants not only beautify your indoor space, they also have many health benefits!

Here are some great benefits to keeping a few indoor plants around:

  • Faster healing and recovery from injury or sickness.
  •  Calming of the mind and body.
  • Improved heart health.
  •  Increase concentration
  • Changing carbon dioxide back to oxygen.
  •  Cleaning the air of harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds), more on this below.

A few years ago NASA conducted a study about the air cleaning capability of house plants. They found that some plants clean the air of harmful VOCs like formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and benzene. The chemicals listed are known to cause cancer and other health issues. These gases are found in common household substances such as glues, paints, spot removers, and tobacco smoke. You need at least one plant per 100 square feet of living space to clean the air

Some great air scrubbers are English ivy, Peace Lilly, Snake Plant, Dracaena, and Bamboo palm. But let’s be honest any indoor plant can brighten your space and your mood.  Keep your indoor plants healthy by feeding them Jack’s Classic Houseplant Special 15-30-15 at ¼ tsp per gallon every time you water.  Use this week as a good excuse to green up your indoor space and head over to your favorite independent garden center and get a few plants and some Jack’s Classic!

Happy plant shopping!

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Buy Some Epsom Salts

Give your Summer Garden Plants and Flowers A Boost!

It is a good idea to keep some Epsom Salts on hand to supplement your watering and fertilizing routines this Summer & into the Fall.

As plants grow, most times there demand for nutrients increase especially the sneaky secondary nutrients of Mg, S and Ca.  How can you tell if your plant is low on Mg and S?  The mid level to low leaves of your plant or flowers will start to look “ratty” or splotchy yellow.  Eventually in a true deficient case, the leaf edges will start be yellow, slightly pink colored or could be crispy.

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Professional Orchid Fertilizers for the True Hobbiest Grower

Bright colors accentuated by the proper nutrition

Dr. Cari Peters presented a seminar to a group at Parkside Orchid Nursery in Ottsville, PA – IPA Focus of Phals Days in early September 2010 that highlighted steps to take your orchid production to the next level.  Here is a summary of the information presented:

One of the key steps in taking your orchid production to the next level is to really understand what level of fertility you are providing your plants.  The key in knowing this is to understand your water type.  A water test at a horticultural laboratory is the best way to know what you are starting with or without!   The results from a water analysis will confirm what nutrients exist in your water source, the balance between the “good versus bad” nutrients as well as what you may need to add back to your water in the form of soluble fertilizers.

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Starting to Think about Poinsettia’s? 6 Nutritional Tips to Remember

How Poinsettia’s Differ from Other Crops — The Short List. Here are six of the most important nutritional differences for this “can be troublesome” Holiday favorite:

1. Constant liquid fertilization (CLF) is the best method of fertilization to ensure a consistent nutrient uptake and to avoid stunted or uneven growth.

2. Extra calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and molybdenum (Mo) are needed throughout the growing cycle.

3. Ca foliar sprays (Calcium Chloride Dihydrate or Calcium Nitrate) boost stem strength and reduce leaf and bract edge burn.

4. Ammonium nitrogen (NH4) is usually decreased as light levels decrease.

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The Shade Loving Shamrock

Oxalis tends to slim or close it leaves in response to the bright sun

The  beautiful Shamrock (genus oxalis) is often a favorite indoor houseplant especially round the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.  This umbrella petaled flower opens nicely to provide delicate green foliage and low coverage for rock gardens, ground cover and under-story vegetation.

One of the most common mistakes with the greenhouse production of oxalis is misinterpretation of a common oxalis trait.  In bright sun, oxalis will close its umbrella petals to leave a very slim flower structure.  This is often thought of as a sign of early wilting or moisture stress.  The grower will then proceed to increase the watering or feed frequency with disastrous consequences. Alternatively, removing the plant from direct sunlight will promote flower opening and less plant stress without the need for additional watering.

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